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Choosing a Globe

Why Dura Globes?

At Dura Globes, we are committed to helping you find the perfect globe to suit your needs. Our vast selection of globes is readily available through our easily navigable site. Explore the clearly organized tabs at the top of the web page to readily access our diverse collection. Another way to discover our globes is through the brand list at the bottom of Dura Globes' webpage, which organizes the products by manufacturer. Unlike other retailers, we stock the majority of the items we sell in our own warehouse, allowing us to oversee your order from start to finish and answer any questions you may have about the products. If after reading this guide and surfing our page you still have questions about our products, feel free to contact our expert staff here.


Why Buy a Globe?

Kids Exploring Globe Globes are three dimensional replications of the world, making them more cartographically accurate than maps, which attempt to reduce the planet to a two dimensional surface. As maps rose to popularity in America with the onset of World War I, globes came to prominence  in schools and classrooms soon afterwards in the 1930s. Since then, they have been popular decorative and educational items that inspire a love of geography in both the young and old alike, and continue to make excellent gifts to a loved one.


Scan the world globe for your next travel destination; discover an exotic city you have never heard of; develop an appreciation for the planet's beautiful topography; a deeper understanding of the world's current events; explore the cosmos with celestial and planet globes; cultivate excite your imagination and spark a passion for geography! No matter what you need a globe for; these stunning cartographical models are destined to provide an endless supply of information and decorative beauty for years to come.


Where Will the Globe Be Displayed?

Globe in Living RoomThe first thing to consider when buying a globe is where it will be displayed. Do you want a globe for the home, classroom, office, university, library, museum or elsewhere? Do you want a model that fits on a tabletop surface or stands on the floor? How much space do you have for a globe? Also, consider the surroundings. Does the room's decor feature a more traditional or contemporary style? Is the space mostly used during the daytime, like a classroom, or the nighttime, like a living room? Is the world globe intended for mostly educational or decorative purposes? Answering these questions will go a long way in determining if you want a desktop or a floor model, what size the globe should be and what special features and design would be most appropriate.




Types of Globes


tabletop world globe

Desktop Globes

For any flat, tabletop surface, there are the beautiful desktop globes. With diameters measuring from 4 inches all the way up to 16 inches, there is a wide variety of sizes available. Whether being placed on a desk in an office, a table at home, a bookshelf, coffee table or night stand, there is an appropriately designed model to suit your needs in the Dura Globes collection. There are desktop globes available from Replogle, Discovery, National Geographic, Columbus, the Frank Lloyd Wright Collection, MOVA and Alexander Kalifano models, ensuring a wide variety of options to choose from. There are classic blue ocean educational globes from Replogle, along with extravagant largely sized hand blown glass models from Columbus. With short bases, these desktop globes bring excellent style to any tabletop, along with a wealth of cartographical information. While there are many decorative desktop globes available in this section, there are also educational and interactive globes for children that can be found here.

standing world globe

Floor Globes

For a taller, standing model to accent your stylishly decorated room, check out our beautiful floor globes section! Find the perfect spot in the home, office, school or public venue to display these towering cartographical wonders. While some of the standing globes features metal bases, others showcase finely finished wooden stands. Be sure to investigate Dura Globes’ vast selection of Columbus, Replogle, National Geographic, Frank Lloyd Wright Collection, Discovery, Zoffoli and Alexander Kalifano floor globes. Whether you need a more contemporary fashioned globe or one to fit a traditional decor, there are a myriad of options readily available for your perusal. Furthermore, there are models that are able to be appreciated from a standing height and still others that are meant to be investigated while sitting on a chair or coach. Globe diameters run from 12 inches all the way up to 40, with Columbus' epic Magnum Plus models! The diversity of sizes and styles of the floor globes means that the ideal model for your needs can be found in our collection.

Kalifano Gemstone world globe

Gemstone Globes

Alexander Kalifano's Gemstone Globes come in both desktop and floor styles. These artisanal globes were hand assembled with semiprecious gemstones that where manually selected by trained craftspeople. Coming from the region they represent on the political map, these stones thrill with their vibrant colors and texture. As a result of each model's handcrafted nature, each individual globe contains slight imperfections, making every unit unique. Set on luxurious metal stands coming in a multitude of colors, these extraordinary globes are destined to be the centerpiece of any room it resides in your home or office. Along with the desktop and floor models, check out our Novelty Globes section by clicking here. There, you can peruse the collection of Alexander Kalifano's Bookends, Key chains, Paperweights and World in Your Hands globes.




Special Features and Globe Characteristics

Illuminated vs. Non-Illuminated

Illuminated Globe

Now that you have decided whether you want a Desktop, Floor, Gemstone or Rotating Globe, it is time to make other decisions to help narrow your search. Consider whether you want a globe that lights up or one that does not? Globes that come aglow fill the room with the warm and radiant colors from the vividly hued map. Often times, flipping on the globe's light switch can change the map as well, bringing out different qualities and cartographical features. Some globes turn on merely by touching the meridian! Illuminated globes are great for the home, but there is really not much need for a lighted model if it's intended for the school or office, because those globes will see the most action during the day. In that case, explore our collection to find the beautiful non-illuminated globes! World globes that do not light up have their own advantages. For one, they do not need to be near a power outlet, so they can be placed anywhere in the room.

Many non-illuminated globes can display a raised relief. While not all non-illuminated models have a rasied relief, it is an additional special feature. Most globes feature a smooth, round exterior, but others, particularly those from Replogle, illustrate the planet's three-dimensional relief through physical variations on the surface of the sphere. When running your hand along the globe with the raised relief facades, you will feel slight bumps where the world's most epic mountains protrude from the earth's surface.



Political vs. Physical

Physical MapThe next decision to make is what kind of map you want. Most world globes feature either Political or Physical maps. Political cartography showcases the country divisions that carve up the planet's landmasses. Additionally, political maps usually contain an abundance of place names. Other cartographical information like shipping lanes, water current directions and latitude longitude grids can be present on these types of maps.

Physical maps forgo political information to highlight earth's natural relief. Mainly featuring naturalistic greens, yellows, browns of the landmasses instead of a patchwork of pastel hues, the physical maps also typically contain detailed three-dimensional shading that illustrates the world's tallest mountain chains and deepest valleys in the ocean. Often time physical maps will still depict the most important place names, like countries and continents, but will forgo city and town names. Some world globes, like the ones made by Columbus, feature maps change from political to physical or visa-versa when they become illuminated.


Ocean Design & Non-World Globes

Much of a globe's style comes to its ocean design. The more contemporary or educational globes can feature a blue ocean background, while the primarily decorative pieces oftentimes showcase antique beige-colored oceans that recall old fashioned maps. The antique styled world globes, despite their nostalgic sensibility, contain contemporary, accurate and up to date cartographical information. Some of the more forward looking globes swap out the beige or blue colored oceans for unconventional color choices, like silver, black, copper or clear.

If you are not in the market for a world globe, check out the celestial globes, which showcase the night sky! For the stargazers and astronomy lovers out there, MOVA also makes rotating planet globes. Additionally, there are also art globes and other non-cartographical models produced by the rotating globe manufacturer. Lastly, if you still cannot find the type of globe you want in Dura Globes' diverse collection, please contact us for Custom Globe orders.


Bases & Meridians

After all of the decisions have been made as to what kind of map and globe you want, the next thing to consider is the base. Stands are often decorative complements to the map itself. Modern styled globes can contain sleeker, minimal designs with less ornamentation. Traditional globes are often presented on ornate, wooden bases that match the antique tones of the map. When ordering MOVA Rotating Globes, there are different base options available that can be specially ordered for each model.Unconvential Base

The last element to globes is their meridian. The meridian is the circular arm that frames the sphere and holds it to the base. A semi or half-meridian means that it does not complete a full circle around the globe, while a full meridian surrounds the sphere in a 360 degree fashion. Globes that feature a "gimbal mounted meridian," means that the ball can be swiveled up and down for close viewing of both hemispheres. Some meridians also feature notches that denote latitudinal degrees, which correspond to the map's grid.  



While it is certainly not necessary, some customers like to shop by manufacturer. Columbus is a venerable German globe maker with a rich history, Replogle is America's classic manufacturer whose products are found in most classrooms, Zoffoli features stylish Italian design and MOVA is known for their self-rotating solar globes. More information on these manufacturers and others can be found in the Globe Brands section here.